AEG LIVE President/CEO Randy Phillips says his company is looking at a strong year, based on tours already on sale and those teed up for later in the year.
AEG Live tours for 2012 include Enrique Iglesias with Jennifer Lopez, and Wisin & Yandel, Americon Idols Live!, Kenny Chesney in stadiums with Tim McGraw (steered by AEG Live parter Louis Messina's TMG), and a June on-sale for Justin Bieber for a tour that begins in the fall.
Regarding Iglesias/J-Lo, "by the time the acts hit the stage, every one of those dates are going to be sold out," Phillips tells Billboard.biz. AEG Live's last major tour of the year is Justin Bieber, and Phillips and AEG have the confidence to go up in June, when probably more shows are on sale than any other time of the year.
"I want to go up when the album's out so we have all this media banging at the same time. And," Phillips says of the strategy, "he's got a monster hit single. Remember, we did over $120 million worth of business with him the first time around without a hit single."
Phillips says American Idols will likely do better than 90% business, and Leonard Cohen looks strong in pre-sale. Beyond that, AEG's festival division is off to a super-strong start with Coachella, Stagecoach and Jazzfest.
"We're conservative buyers," says Phillips. "We buy the things we believe we can make a success of. Between Chesney/McGraw, Justin Bieber, Enrique/J-Lo, American Idols and Leonard Cohen, I can honestly say to you that the state of the concert nation seems to be pretty solid."